Monday, November 05, 2007

U.S. Embassy Statement on Vietnam Adoption

The U.S Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam has issued a statement noting that it and the USCIS in Ho Chi Minh City have seen an increase in irregularities in orphan petitions and visa applications that has resulted in an increase in the issuance of Notices of Intent to Deny visas. The Embassy believes that the number of irregularities it witnesses “strongly indicates that the adoption process in Vietnam still lacks sufficient oversight and regulation.” “Child finders” and inadequate regulation of adoption fees are cited as chief concerns.

The Embassy urges prospective parents to be “extremely diligent” in reviewing an adoption agency qualifications before selecting an agency. Says the Embassy:
Unfortunately, as news stories and blogs often reveal, the glowing report of an
adoptive parent who successfully ‘brought home’ a child cannot be taken as
evidence that the adoption was ethical or fully legal.
The Embassy urges the Government of Vietnam to continue efforts to become a party to the Hague Convention. The Memorandum of Understanding that Vietnam and the United States signed in 2005 was “designed to increase transparency and reduce corruption, and came after a period when adoptions had been suspended in Vietnam because of significant problems involving corruption and ‘Baby buying.’”

The Embassy encourages Vietnam’s Department of International Adoptions (DIA) to work with provincial authorities in Vietnam to improve the integrity of the Vietnamese adoption system. Although there may be legitimate concerns about DIA’s authority, the Embassy states it has seen little remedial action to address these problems, including little, if any, action to identify and prosecute those responsible for (1) fraudulently documenting the abandonment of children, (2)offering monetary inducements to families for relinquishing children, and (3) offering children for international adoption without the consent of the birth parents.

The Embassy also urges the Governement of Vietnam to pass comprehensive legislation that protects all parties and meets the standards of the Hague Convention.


Announcement Regarding Adoption in Vietnam, U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, November, 2007

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